We are currently working with some fantastic undergraduates, masters and doctoral students and are undertaking some super, exciting work. Here’s a flavour of what we are up to, and the students who we are helping and who are helping us. We are taking an open and collaborative approach and it’s working fantastically well: they are super talented and are helping us with a diverse range of work.

Introducing the Class of 2022 and their work

Please do follow them on social media, LinkedIn etc, if we don’t snap them up following the completion of their degrees, we know they will be in high demand!

Rebecca Whitbourn is currently undertaking an MSc in Global Sustainability Solutions. With a previous life in banking and finance, Becks turned her back on the daily grind to return to her studies so she could pursue her true passions in environmental sustainability. Having covered topics including regenerative agriculture, sustainable energy transitions, voluntary carbon markets, systems and design thinking, net-zero & carbon footprinting and negative emissions technologies during her degree, Becks’ final dissertation subject is investigating the carbon sequestration potential of Sargassum.

Zach Clarke is currently studying at Exeter University on the Global Sustainability Solutions MSc course. With a keen interest in oceanography and environmental conservation, Zach will be applying the skills gained on his masters course in systems thinking concepts and problem solving, to assess the milestones that are required within sustainable seaweed farming in the transition from a farmed commodity to its CDR applications.

Becca Jones is currently studying MSc Global Sustainability Solutions at the University of Exeter, following a BSc in Geography. Some of her interests span more land-based topics such as rewilding and peatlands! Yet, she has always wanted to dive into research of conserving the big blue and all of it’s amazing biodiversity. With a determination to save the planet (or at least make a small difference!), Becca will be using her skills in GIS and modelling to map areas suitable for sinking Sargassum in the Caribbean and Atlantic, in order to maximise carbon sequestration and the amount of seaweed staying down where it should!

Amber Veacock is currently studying MSc Global Sustainability Solutions at the University of Exeter. With an interest and passion in environmental conservation and nature based solutions, she will be applying systems thinking skills to assess whether seaweed cultivation in Caribbean AOSIS nations is a feasible and sustainable option for a bioeconomy, whilst also mitigating climate change impacts.

Lucy Heenan is currently undertaking an MSc in Advanced Biological Sciences at the University of Exeter, following a BSc in Medical Sciences. With a keen interest and passion in sustainable manufacturing processes and environmental conservation, she will be applying her analytical skillset to investigate whether the use of seaweed-derived compounds in cosmetics is a feasible and sustainable option for a bioeconomy, whilst also mitigating climate change impacts.

Odysséas Katsibas is a French student at the world renowned Purpan School of Engineering in Toulouse, France. Currently in his second year of his five year masters degree in Bio-engineering, Ody is undertaking a 12 week internship (between June and October 2022) at Exeter University and is investigating the interaction between Sargassum and the macrofauna in the Caribbean. With family in Martinique, Ody is well aware of the effects of Sargassum on the Caribbean islands and has witnessed at first hand the environmental impact on local biodiversity and human health. Ody is particularly interested in biotechnological applications of marine research and is keen to help us both understand and solve the problem. Ody will be looking to undertake a PhD following the completion of his studies back in France.

Edward Huntley Orellana. A final year Biosciences student at Exeter University by day and wannabe hedgefund manager by night, Ed has dreams of combining his passions for environmental research and digital assets to help fight climate change. Seaweed Generation are giving him just this opportunity! A fierce proponent of developing solutions that can both generate wealth and improve lives; Ed is researching cryptocurrencies, NFTs and other digital assets in order to come up with a sustainable way of integrating them into the carbon dioxide removal field. Combining ‘Where sargo?’ with ‘Wen lambo’, Ed hopes to revolutionise how carbon credits are generated, marketed, traded and held.

Willoughby Jago (Twitter, YouTube). A BSc Biosciences student in his final year who masquerades as an international online gaming megastar and YouTuber (which has nothing to do with potatoes) in his spare time. Will is helping with our outreach, social media and public relations materials. With a wealth of experience and expertise in creating engaging videos and storytelling narratives, Will has a particular talent for condensing complex concepts into simple, accessible messages which can be targeted at specific stakeholders. When he retires at age 28, Will hopes to travel the world and never touch a computer again.

Klaudia Sokolowska is currently doing her BSc in Biological Sciences at Exeter University and is interested in coral reefs, mangroves and the tropical side of biology! Klaudia has a passion for all aspects of environmental research: from the increasing pressures placed on species survival, to the protection of oceanic species, to the impact of pollutants such as microplastics. Climate change and the anthropogenic destruction of the natural world is happening and Klaudia is determined to help do something about it. She is looking to develop a career in environmental conservation and protection in the future. During a recent fieldwork trip to San Salvador in the Bahamas, Klaudia collected data about algae and coral diversity as part of a long running time series. She will be building on the insights gained during this work to assess the impact of Sargassum on coral reefs and wildlife in the Caribbean.

Enrico Green is currently following a BSc in Biological Sciences, with specific interests in the application of microbiology to biotechnology. Fresh back to Exeter after a year studying abroad in Venice, Italy; Enrico’s final year project will combine his interests, researching the best approach for expanding Seaweed Generation’s process into gigatonne removal and subsequent application of Sargassum in other processes following the circular economy, such as its potential in the production of biofuels. Through environmental monitoring of Seaweed Generation’s carbon sequestration process; developing methodologies and best practices, his project will aim to investigate Seaweed Generation’s potential for market expansion. Upon completing the project and his degree, Enrico will look to follow a career within biotechnology and its ties with the ocean.

Filippa Artikopoulou is an undergraduate BSc Biological Sciences student at the university of Exeter. Having grown up in coastal Athens (Greece) prior to her moving abroad to study, she has a deep appreciation for the ocean and the potential it possesses in developing the sustainability solutions of the future. She aspires to be at the forefront of the scientific breakthroughs that will set this vision into motion. Throughout her studies in Exeter, she has invested a lot of time in her interest in seaweed through developing a “Dragon’s Den” style research proposal as well as a podcast episode alongside comprehensive literature review of seaweed’s contribution to Blue Carbon. She will be looking to undertake a Masters and potentially a PhD in related fields.

TheBioplasticCollective is a diverse group of Exeter University students (studying Arts, Politics, Economics, Geography and other subjects) that seek to demonstrate the feasibility of biodegradable plastics to large brands. Their premise is simple; “if we can do it, so can you!” - a message they hope to deliver to the corporate bodies that distribute and provide the single-use plastics we rely on in our daily lives. Working together with StaticFreeFilms and researchers from the University of Exeter and Seaweed Generation, they hope to create a range of fully biodegradable products from seaweed and share their story with the world.